Hospitalists are internal medicine physicians who have the same training as other internal medicine doctors. The only difference is that hospitalists have chosen not to join a practice but focus their care on patients in the hospital.
There are many advantages of hospitalists. They have more expertise in caring for complicated needs of hospitalized patients on a daily basis. They are more readily available to meet with family members, follow up on tests and coordinate with nursing. A hospitalist may see a patient more than once a day to insure that care is going according to plan and to explain test findings to patients and family members.
Hospitalists also coordinate the care of patients in the hospital and facilitate communication between different doctors caring for a patient. They serve as the point of contact for other doctors and nurses for questions, updates, and delineating a comprehensive plan of care. Similarly, because hospitalists are in the hospital most of the time, they are able to track test results and order necessary follow-up tests promptly. This is in contrast to the traditional approach in which the primary doctor may come to the hospital the next day to follow up on the results and take the next necessary step at that time.
Greenville Health System (GHS) has one of the largest networks of hospitalists in South Carolina, and these physicians provide care at all GHS facilities. To learn more about GHS' Hospitalist program, call (864) 455-4411.